18th AGRS redesignates to 18th FIS

  • Published
  • By Airman Spencer Hanson
  • 354th Fighter Wing

The 354th Fighter Wing redesignated the 18th Aggressor Squadron as the 18th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and the 354th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as the 18th Fighter Generation Squadron, Feb. 2, 2024, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

Eielson service members, families and community members attended a ceremony commemorating the event. A guest speaker at the ceremony was Lt. Gen. David Nahom, commander, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Alaskan Command and Eleventh Air Force.

“The designation of the 18th FIS realigns our resources with the national priorities that drive the Department of Defense and Air Force mission sets,” said Nahom.

The 18th FIS has a rich history dating back to 1939. The unit has been stationed in Florida and California, and during WWII the 18th FIS participated in combat in the Northern Pacific, and the defense of Alaska. It continued to provide air defense for the US from 1952-1971 and 1977-1982. Having had a multitude of assignments the 18th FIS is now back in Alaska.

“We've been a pursuit squadron, we've been a fighter squadron, and an aggressor squadron. Now we're back to a FIS in the state of Alaska. It’s great to go back to that lineage, that history,” said Lt. Col. Albert Roper, 18th FIS commander.

In support of the 18th FIS, the 354th AMXS was inactivated, and the 18th FGS was activated in its place. This change aligns the FIS capabilities with a supporting maintenance squadron.

“What the FGS construct does is ties the fighter generation squadron to their flying squadron or in this case, fighter interceptor squadron counterparts,” said Maj. Stephan White 18th FGS commander. “What that does is it links our missions and where they go, we go, making us more agile, and more effective at accomplishing the mission.”

The 18th FIS is organized under the 354th Operations Group and the 18th FGS is organized under the 354th Maintenance Group.

The redesignation allows the 18th FIS and 18th FGS to organize, train, and equip for their primary combat mission of providing aerospace control for homeland defense missions in the Alaska Theater of Operations.